Maximum rewards: Redcliffe road, London

Space for a garden is often limited in London, and this site in Chelsea is no exception. Our split-level design offers a successful solution to a common problem.

By making the garden a true extension of the house, we have created a greater sense of space both indoors and out. The upper level extends from a kitchen on the ground floor, and the other from a living room in the basement.

We have forged this link between inside and out by extending the palette of materials, forms and colours from house to garden. The mellow sandstone indoors becomes a material for paving and steps in the garden, although here it must be specially treated to prevent it from becoming slippery. The design for a stone bench against the wall of the upper garden mimics that of a bench inside the house.

Planting brings depth, colour, scent and all-year interest to our design. Three multi-stem Amelanchier lamarkii at basement level are the focal point of the garden. They are underplanted with a combination of perennials and evergreen shrubs chosen for their white, green or blue flowers. Scented climbers cover the timber trellis on the other boundary wall, and a yew hedge at the end of the garden screens it from neighbouring houses.

Every detail of this garden has been carefully designed to reap maximum rewards from a restricted area.



Architects: MWAI

Landscape contractor: Bamboo landscaping

Photography: Stefano Marinaz, Alexander James

Interior designer: Woolf Interior

Fitted furniture supplier: INTERIOR-iD

Main contractor: Hengrave Building Company